Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Google Maps in the Classroom

Google Maps are not just for getting around when you don't know your way...

Google offers some great ways to make use of maps in the classroom.  They offer tutorials and resources for all types of map use.  From beginning tutorials to more complex, there is a lot to consider.  One thing is for certain, this is a resource I wish I saw more use of in the classroom.

Here are a few ideas that I found as I did some exploring:

Google Earth - Allows students to interact with and explore the world in ways unique to the computer experience.  While we would all love to head out to Rome and see the history and artifacts there, Google Earth uses imagery that allows kids to travel back in time and view different locations to see how they have changed.  with resources that show ideas such as they US Presidents or the trail of Lewis and Clark, this resource will add amazing depth to your units of study.  Explore 3D imagery of locations such as Mars in Google Earth or the landing sites of the moon.  Students can make use of Real World Math and other lesson plans that use Google Earth to learn new skills.  Additionally, Using Tours you can create and play tours of places and content.  Tours are a "flying" Google Earth experience in which students will be able to view terrain, maps and navigate using 3D images and even audio.  So much to explore.

Google Maps - One of the many resources that Google provides to users is the Google Map.  There are many ways in which you can use Google Maps each allowing for different ideas within the classroom.  One of my favorite ways to make use of Maps is to use Maps Engine to build your own map.  The tool allows you to draw on a map, enter and visualize data, add layers and set specific points for various resources.  An easy to follow tutorial can be found here.

Additional Resources:

Google Maps in the Classroom - Created by CUE and WestEd for Google
Google Maps - from Teaching History
How to Create a Map Using Google Maps Engine
40+ Ideas on Using Google Earth and Maps in the Classroom


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